How embarrassing.

I’ve mentioned before my phobia of being embarrassed. It’s probably the thing I am most afraid of, that gives me the most anxiety when I imagine encountering it. (Well, that and cockroaches. I’ve often said — and meant — that if I found a cockroach in my apartment, he would get the apartment.)

My fear of humiliation manifests itself in bizarre ways sometimes. For example, even if I know the answer to a publicly asked question (and know that I know it), I’ll usually keep quiet on the off-chance that I’m somehow wrong anyway and don’t want to be called out on it.

Another situation I can just barely stand? Going around in a circle and introducing yourself in front of a group.

Yup, I’m saying that one of the most anxiety-producing situations I can experience is having to say my name.

Told you it was a little weird.

As long as I can remember, I’ve dreaded that moment on the first day of school, the first meeting at a new company, etc. the bigger the circle and the longer I have to imagine what could go wrong, the harder my heart pounds.

Why am I so freaked out? I’m worried I’ll say the wrong name or mess up my own an everyone will laugh at me.


It’s a little pathetic, right? I mean, I don’t consider myself an insecure person. I should be able to handle misspeaking and everyone getting a little chuckle out of it.

I was going to say, “I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? I stutter over my words, everyone laughs, and we love on.” But the fact is, yeah, that’s the worst that could happen. I can feel my face burn and my stomach fill with butterflies even just thinking about it happening.

Why am I dwelling on this (somewhat ridiculous) phobia? Because yesterday, my entire department had to introduce ourselves to the head of our company, a woman whose name I can almost guarantee you know, a woman who’s a celebrity in her own right and whom I admire and respect and am more than a little intimidated by. And not for nothing, but she’s also a woman who has made it clear she suffers no fools and doesn’t have time for people blathering all over themselves trying to string a few words into a sentence.

So, yeah, I was a little nervous.

I’m going to throw out a spoiler here and tell you it all went fine. She was very nice to me, and a managed to spit out my name, title, tenure with the company, and what I was working on without any embarrassing stammers or awkward phrasing. (I know, you guys! Someone should really get me a medal.)

Unfortunately for me, I think this is just one of those phobias that will always be in the back of my mind. The trick will just be learning to overcome it. (Hint: I’m a big fan of practicing. You know I had rehearsed my little “what I’ve been working on” shpeel.)

Ok, now. Let’s go around the room an everyone say what they’re afraid of so I feel better about my own fears.


But seriously. Spill!



I wrote an entire post on my fear of going around in a circle and introducing yourself (including a fun anecdote about work yesterday where I met the head of our company), and I typed the whole dang thing on my phone, and then my phone deleted it.

I’m furious.

But also not awake enough to re-type it right now. Sorry. Maybe later.

I just wanted you to know that I tried, you guys.

**UPDATE! A few of you awesome peeps received the post in an email (yet another reason why you should all subscribe to the blog…just sayin…) and sent it to me. Special thanks to Annie, Michelle, and Susan’s mom, Gayle. You’re all awesome for pointing this out to me. ENJOY THE REAL POST HERE.